estrogen in women ageing

In women estrogens and their cognate receptors regulate reproductive activities and exert protective functions in skeletal, cardiovascular and nervous systems. With the increased life expectancy, women spend now more than one third of their life in menopause, a physiological state in which ovaries stop producing sexual hormones. To date, risks and benefits of post-menopause hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are still unclear. Indeed, clinical results are in strong conflict with experimental results, the latter showing a clear protective effect of estrogens against bone, vessel, skin and brain malfunctions. EWA will build on existing knowledge, reagents and infrastructures landmarks of European excellence in estrogen research to focus on:

  • generation of innovative cell and animal models for the identification of the safest compounds to be used in HRT;
  • analysis of the efficacy and undesired effects of known and novel molecules to be used for HRT;
  • testing diverse modalities of HRT to mimic at best the physiological cycle in fertile women;
  • investigating whether the anti-inflammatory activity of estrogens protects women against the onset of cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, osteoporosis and diabetes.

In EWA, pharmacologists, molecular biologists, physiologists, neurologists and clinicians will co-operate to assure the multidisciplinary approach indispensable for a successful research programme and full access to state-of-the-art technologies available in the field. Collaboration among EWA partners is in fact based on a successful history of joint researches. Moreover, the involvement of a SME will assure the prompt exploitation of the results of the project, while disseminating the knowledge gained will hopefully strengthen links with other Companies.


University of Milan

6th Framework Programme


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Last updated: 20.11.2008